Why I should never skip the gym again

If you’re like me, you love working out to build confidence, to look like an authoritative figure (since I’m only 5'7), and to fill every inch of a sexy fitted suit.

But when I wake up in the morning my bed is warm and cozy, and there is no other real reason to leave it.

I go about my day, and tell myself that I’ll go to the gym after work.

After work I’m fairly exhausted by the day’s events. As soon as I get home, I lie on my bed and want to sleep my life away.

Then there comes a decision: to go to the gym or not. If I do go, I must take pre-workout (it gives me energy I never knew I had).

THE MAN WHO CHANGED MY MINDSET

One morning while I was using free weights, I noticed a guy beside me. He was in a wheelchair doing the same exercise I was doing.

I try not to pay attention to other people while I work out, since I am there for myself and it’s a distraction. Also, it’s kind of creepy if you’re that guy who always looks at people working out.

So I’m there doing my thing, and in my peripheral I notice the man making a gesture towards me (for the sake of this story, lets call him Max).

I take out my headphones and ask Max what’s up; he says, “Hey man, can you do me a favour?” Of course I naturally agree, I don’t want to be the first jackass who says no to someone in a wheelchair.

Max asks me to get him a pair of 25 lbs. dumbbells; not a problem.

I get back to doing my set, and a while later he asks for my help again.

Now I’m curious as to how Max (who looks no older than 22) is in a wheelchair at such a young age.

As I give him the new set of dumbbells, I tell him, “Man, you’re a champ, I have no excuse to skip the gym if you make it here”

He tells me, “Honestly, I’m just trying to get a hard workout like the rest of you”

Then I say, “Do you mind me asking what happened to you?”

He tells me a story about how he and another friend were at Finch Subway Station coming back from the bar. A homeless man came up to them asking for spare change. They said they didn’t have any, so the homeless man asked for their wallets and cell phones. They said no and continued to walk away. The next moment, the homeless man pulls out a gun and accidentally fires.

The bullet ricocheted off of something and struck Max in his lower spine. It paralyzed him from the hip down.

This was a freak accident and could happen to literally anyone who takes the subway or has an encounter with another human being. Max was going about his life like he always does, and now life threw him an unsuspected knuckleball.

Max then went on to tell me how he has been a chef for 15 years (yeah he is definitely not 22), he still goes out with friends, drives and does everything anyone else can do.

He was very humble and had a positive outlook on life.

WHAT DID I LEARN?

I took away at least two nuggets from this story. The first is that life is too short and anything can happen that will jeopardize your future.

Second, if going to the gym and living a healthy lifestyle is one of your goals, the only thing that is stopping you from achieving that goal is you. I was lazy, and let my mind stop me from going to the gym. I believe majority of the fight is mental, and you must have the willpower to fight through the obstacles that get in your way. If Max can get to the gym on a daily basis (I’m sure it takes him twice as long to get ready) than so can I.

Now just because Max goes to the gym that doesn’t mean you should go. Think about why you first entered the gym and signed up. What made you do it? For me, it was building my self-esteem and confidence. You obviously had goals for what you wanted to achieve. Think about your body goals every day when you wake up. We all have bad days, and it’s okay to fall down.

If you’re like me, and want to become more of a morning person and wake up at around 4:00–5:00am every day (for the gym or to start your day), try this. When your alarm or dog or cat wakes you up, tell yourself right away, this is all mental, I can do this.

Stand up, put on the light, and start your day. If you feel like going back to your warm and cozy bed, keep telling yourself, that this fight is all mental, and you’re much stronger than that.

Obviously this is a work in progress, but it’s something that you can try every day.

Once you make that into a routine, you will utilize more hours in the day to achieving your personal goals.

Wake up earlier than the competition, and work harder than everyone else in the room. Constantly sets goals for yourself, and re-evaluate the decisions you make that do not contribute to those goals.

The only easy day was yesterday — UNITED STATES NAVY SEALS